I don’t have any cute or sarcastic quips for this story, because I just read it and I’m still shocked. 

Michael Crichton has died. 

Crichton, 66, was the creator of ER and author of some of the more popular fiction of the last 30 years, including Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Rising Sun
and several others.  According to the release, he “died
unexpectedly after a courageous and private battle against cancer.”

of the few authors whose work I repeatedly enjoyed, whether it was
far-fetched or not, was Crichton.  Crichton’s fiction spanned
a wide array of topics, from an alien microorganism threat in Strain, to a historical fiction account of The Great Train Robbery, to killer apes in Congo, Japanese business practices in Rising Sun, to a mysterious alien orb in Sphere.  Crichton’s work frequently had the cautionary theme of technology gone awry, such as in Jurassic Park, Westworld, and Andromeda Strain.  His books were some of the most heavily-researched works that I’d ever read.  The bibliography for State of Fear looks like the Library of Congress. 

Crichton was a medical doctor by trade, having graduated Harvard Medical School and lectured at Cambridge.  He wrote A Case of Need
while still in medical school under the pseudonym of Jeffrey Hudson,
and that book won the 1969 Edgar Award for Best Novel.  More
recent generations undoubtedly know his work that’s been transferred
into film.  A great many of his novels became successful
movies, the biggest of which was Jurassic Park and The Lost World.  Unfortunately, several of his works also became films that underperformed or just weren’t very good, including Congo, Sphere and Timeline

you liked his writing or not, I was always amazed by the versatility of
his works, spanning social issues, such as sexual harassment in Disclosure, to a 10th Century Muslim traveling with Vikings in Eaters of the Dead to reanimated dinosaurs in Jurassic Park
Crichton proved to be just as versatile as his novels, with his medical
background, writing novels, directing, writing and producing movies and
television shows.  I perhaps liked Crichton’s works more than
most.  I happen to think even his least-regarded films such 13th Warrior,
while not a great movie, was still much more entertaining than its
performance at the box office.  And even in the worst of his
theatrical adaptations, such as Congo, I can watch for the sheer dumb enjoyment of it.  I also watched ER
for over a decade and read nearly a dozen of his books.  He’s
undeniably been a great source of film material, for better or worse.

Crichton wanted to face his illness without public knowledge, which I
can respect.  I have about a hundred pages to go in State of Fear,
which I had set aside for months that I now plan to finish very
soon.  For fans of Dr. Crichton, like me, this is terrible